Davone Bess probably had the worst game of his football life and obviously his worst as a member of the Cleveland Brown. Bess caught three passes for 27 yards, but he had three drops (one was not his fault) and a fumble on a punt return, which proved critical in the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. And while there will be people who demand he be cut or far worse, probably a sad few that make statements to him on social media, for people who know anything about Bess, no one feels worse about his mistakes than he does.
The fumble on the punt was bad. It looked like he had actually been able to secure the punt and simply burped it up after a few steps. The result was that unlike the punt that was muffed by Dexter McCluster, this one was recovered by the kicking team. The Browns lost an opportunity to get the ball at midfield with the opportunity to drive and score. They would get the ball back, but much further back near their own goal line.
This is the site for Bess’s other big mistake. On the 4th and seven play deep in their own territory, Jason Campbell was unable to find a receiver, rolled out to buy time and ultimately found Bess who was doing the right thing. Bess was coming back to his quarterback in a spot where he could get him the ball and the first down. Campbell threw all the way back in the middle of the field and found Bess there open, but when Bess slid to catch the ball, he booted it and it hit the ground. That was really the last play where the Browns had a reasonable opportunity to go down and tie or win the game.
Bess also had a drop on the first drive of the game where Campbell found him on a crossing route and he simply looked before he secured the ball and lost it. The last one was not on Bess. Campbell threw it way behind him and put him in a terrible position to catch the ball and he could not turn all the way around quickly enough to make the play.
The only thing sillier to suggest than the Browns should cut Bess is the idea that this will break him. Bess has worked incredibly hard to get to the NFL and has earned every bit of it, from the way he grew up in an incredibly tough neighborhood to going to jail for being caught in a car with drugs in it that were not his. He found a way to get his way on the University of Hawaii football team by working insanely hard and making it so they could not refuse and he rewarded them for it.
Bess has been good every year in his career and has been a useful player on the Browns. The drops are incredibly frustrating and uncharacteristic for him. Now with eight, Bess has to figure out how to correct the issue and get past it. When right, Bess provides an important role as someone who can get open on third downs and extend drives. The Browns are likely to add another wide receiver in the NFL Draft and could be picked very early, but Bess is a hole they hope they had filled as a slot receiver.